By Godfrey AKON
The Federal Government has said it allocated a total of N727, 225,862,128.86 to universities, polytechnics and colleges of education through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, between 2015 and 2018.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who disclosed this at a weekend briefing in Abuja, said the intervention was in critical areas of infrastructural development, especially physical infrastructure, project maintenance, Information and Communication Technology support, among others.
Adamu explained that the TETFund intervention was separate from other sources of funding tertiary education such as the NEEDS assessment, internally generated revenues of these institutions among others.
He said “total allocations to public universities during the period under review (4 years) therefore, stands at Two hundred and Six billion, Five Hundred and Sixty-Two million, three hundred and ninety-Three thousand, Eight Hundred naira (N206,562,393,800.00).
“The total allocation to Polytechnics during the period under review stood at One Hundred and Three billion, One hundred and Seventy-Three million, Three hundred and Seventeen Thousand, One Hundred and Eight naira (N103, 173,317,108.00).
“For the Colleges of Education, the total allocation during the period under review, stood at One Hundred and one billion, Six Hundred and Thirty-One Million, Three Hundred and Four Thousand, Five Hundred naira (N101, 631,304,500).
Adamu however expressed serious concern over the lack of accountability in some tertiary institutions, warning that government will not fold its arms to watch institutions funded with public purse to flout the laws of public accountability.
“I want to put every stakeholder in this regard on notice, that, in the coming weeks, the Federal Ministry of Education under my watch will roll out visitation panels to all tertiary institutions to deal with this ugly phenomenon,” he said.
Speaking on industrial disputes in the subsector, the minister commended the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU, for calling off their strike to allow return to the classroom and pledged that government will reciprocate this gesture by fulfilling all terms of agreement reached with COEASU.
He said government has virtually resolved all issues with the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, was expecting the union to also call off its strike in the coming days.
The minister disclosed that arrears and shortfalls in salary owed the union were being addressed across board as the government has released N16.8 billion to settle outstanding arrears, adding that disbursement of the funds was ongoing through the office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
According to him, government is committed to the revitalization of facilities in its public tertiary institutions and has directed the Minister of Finance to source for additional funding to the tune of N30 billion for the purpose, with particular reference to Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.